High-End Smartphone Saturation: First Apple, Then BlackBerry, Now Nokia
First it was Apple (AAPL). The stock kept correcting and correcting and correcting (and then corrected some more) and no one could figure out what the market was trying to tell us.
Then it was BlackBerry (BBRY). It missed revenue forecast but it also missed something even more important. It sold less BB10 devices than the market thought it would.
And last but not least, we now have Nokia (NOK). From the company's most recent Q2 report we read:
Sequentially, the decrease in our Smart Devices ASP in the second quarter 2013 was primarily due to a negative mix shift towards sales of our lower priced Windows Phone 8-based Lumia products as well as our pricing actions.
So what do Nokia, Apple and BlackBerry all have in common? All three reported lower than expected figures and all stumbled in the high-end smartphone spectrum.
Apple by default only makes high-end devices. Yes they also sell older cheaper iPhones, but not many people buy older iPhones anymore. They are simply older. BlackBerry by default is also a high-end device maker. If you want to buy a Z10 or Q10 for cash, you will pay about the same you would pay for an iPhone5 or a Galaxy S4. While BlackBerry has recently introduced a cheaper mid-range BB10 device called the Q5, when you live in India, paying $421 for the Q5 is not exactly a bargain with the buying power consumers have in India.
Samsung (SSNLF.PK) also missed Q2 estimates. Maybe analysts expected too much, because despite record sales of the company's flagship Galaxy S4 device, the stock has been trending lower and analysts have downgraded the stock. The reason is that everyone expects lower high-end device sales ahead.